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We are creatures of habit.
We take the same route to work each morning, take the same paths for runs and have our favourite shortcuts to the shops. Because we’re used to our surroundings, any small change to our environment makes quite an impact at first. In the last seven years or so, as our city has grown and evolved, the largest changes to our city are the new developments dotting our city’s skyline.
First, we notice the hoarding, then the demolition and cranes, then we get used to a construction site for a while. Then, as if overnight, a new building appears, and we see people struggling with a sofa while moving in.
As we stop to take in the finished product, we assess it within seconds, with sentiments like, ‘I like those pointy glass bits’ or ‘I wonder if you can see my place from the top floor’. Yet, somehow in our analysis, it’s easy to glaze over the amount of planning, negotiation, construction and dedication poured into a development, which ultimately becomes a vertical slice of our community.
I’ve always been interested in how an idea for a new development is born, how it is planned and how many people are involved before a lucky new owner puts a shiny key into the door. So, I’m going to take you on the fact-finding trip with me. On this occasion, GEOCON is revealing an insight into their latest development positioned in Belconnen’s Republic precinct, High Society.
Let’s start with the name. High Society is a play on words defining an elevated location for a community of residents. It’s an inclusive, rather than exclusive, notion that any of us can be part of this club. High Society is set to be Canberra’s tallest building and our city’s first fully glazed towers, so the name seems rather fitting.
When you say ‘I like those pointy glass bits’ you’ll be referring to the entire 27 stories of the two towers. And at 113m high, those on the top few floors or on the observation deck will be able to step out onto the balcony among the clouds.
GEOCON is no stranger to Canberra developments, having constructed thousands of dwellings for downsizers, first home buyers and plenty of investors who know the value of Canberra life, but High Society will be their biggest project yet.
“It is one of the biggest private-sector construction projects underway in Australia,” explains Melanie Hindson, Marketing Director at GEOCON.
“We wanted to create something truly special for our city and working with world-renowned Fender Katsalidis architects—we just can’t wait to share it with Canberrans, their friends and the nation.”
Considering that Fender Katsalidis Architects are the creatives behind MONA in Hobart and Eureka Tower in Melbourne, I’m betting we’re in for a visual treat that is sure to outperform even the best of carefully constructed renders; a development that challenges the norm, sets a precedent for distinctive design and creates a true vertical village.
It was exactly at this point of the interview that I thought I might be out of my depth. I had been planning to ease myself into the world of property journalism, yet somehow, I landed with the biggest development in Canberra’s history.
The project is more than two years in planning and development approval processes. And, so far, GEOCON has used the skills of hundreds of people—from development and design to marketing and communications, through to construction and sales. It is mind-boggling thinking about the amount of people power that will have been utilised by the time the project is complete in late 2020.
“But that’s what it takes to create a distinctive and desirable development, with its tall, sleek glass towers, which speak volumes about Canberra really embodying the ‘cool capital’,” adds Melanie.
As we go on with our days, we will slowly see High Society take shape. Even though we may get used to the site in a few months, I’m pretty sure we will begin to notice its grandeur a long time before we see someone struggling with their sofa.
In the next chapter of this series, I’m going to dive a little deeper into the inner circle of High Society and see what life on the inside may be like. You should come with me.
Located on Emu Bank next to Lake Ginninderra, High Society will be a vertical village with 541 one, two and three-bedroom apartments alongside world-class amenities. Prices start from $242,900. You can register your interest now for the best deals prior to public release by visiting highsociety.geocon.com.au.
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